Palawan: 2017 Best Island in the World Winner
The results are in. After a rigorous annual survey, readers of the New York-based travel magazine Travel + Leisure voted for our very own Palawan as the best island in the entire world. It scored an average of 93.15 and landed first place.
This is the second year of Palawan claiming the first place. Last year, the island province scored a slightly higher 93.71, and ranked number one as well.
It was 2013 when Palawan first took the spotlight, and has, since then, been a recurrent name in the magazine’s annual “World’s Best” survey.
Another Philippine tourist destination that made it to the top this year is Boracay, ranked third, with an average of 89.67. In 2016, the summer beach paradise was ranked second next to Palawan, with an average of 90.47.
Palawan, described by the respondents to be “romantic” and “rustic”, is home to some of the greatest attractions in the country, such as the 80-kilometer Subterranean River in Puerto Princesa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also part of Palawan’s provincial territory is El Nido, which has been internationally recognized for having the best beaches in the world by another travel magazine.
Often considered as “The Last Frontier”, Palawan boasts of unexploited white-sand beaches and rocky islands, towering limestone formations, and serves as a home to a combination of more than 800 bird and butterfly species.
Meanwhile, Boracay is also an internationally renowned destination that has received numerous awards from T + L in as early as 2012. Despite being a relatively small island, it has one of the best beaches in the Western Visayas Region in the country and has hosted events like the Philippine Swimming League.
The other eight islands of the world that made it to the top 10 are: Hilton Head Island in South Carolina (90.83); Galapagos Islands in Ecuador (89.20); Santorini in Greece (89.19); Maui in Hawaii (89.17); Kauai in Hawaii (88.72); Ischia in Italy (88.53); Hvar and the Dalmatian Islands in Croatia (87.75); and Bali in Indonesia (87.61).
The annual survey is developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure in partnership with the digital marketing firm Wylei. The survey was conducted from November 7, 2016 to March 6, 2017 across several T + L platforms. Islands were rated according to the following categories: natural attractions/beaches, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people/friendliness, and value.
The Philippines claims top 4 spots in World’s Friendliest Islands
Also amongst the annual World’s Best surveys is the search for the World’s Friendliest Islands, in which Palawan and Boracay make their appearance again—and this time with two more Philippine islands.
The list for 2016 was published in the magazine’s website earlier this year, with Palawan in the first place. Cebu comes in second place, followed by the entire island of Luzon, and lastly Boracay, ranked fourth.
Completing the top 15 list are Waiheke in New Zealand, Ischia in Italy, Tasmania Islands of Australia, Fiji, Bali, the Great Barrier Reef Islands, Moorea, Paros in Greece, Bora Bora, Exhumas in Bahamas, and Caye Caulker in Belize.